Friday, May 25, 2007

First Hymn to Agni

Per the previous post, we are aware 0f the unmistakable and essential identity between Rudra-Shiva and Agni. As we transition into the understanding of the oneness of Rudra and Agni, we shall consider several hymns to Agni from the Rigveda. After Indra, the Rigveda contains the most hymns addressed to Agni. In fact, the first word of the Rigveda is Agni, and the first hymn is a eulogy to Agni. Let us then proceed to examine some of these hymns to Agni from the Rigveda, as a prelude to understanding the oneness between Rudra and Agni.

|| ॐ नमः शिवाय ||


Agni Suktam
Holy Rigveda I.1.1-9
Trans. Raimundo Pannikkar

I magnify the Lord, the Divine, the Priest, Minister of the sacrifice, the Offerer, supreme Giver of treasure.

Worthy is the Lord to be praised by living as by ancient seers. He makes present for us the Devas.

The Lord brings us riches, food in daily abundance, renown, and hero sons to gladden our hearts.

Only that worship and sacrifice that You, Lord, guard on every side will reach the heavenly world of the Devas.

May the Lord, wise and true offerer, approach, most marvelous in splendor, encircled with his crown of Devas!

Whatever gift You may choose to give, O Lord, to Your worshiper, that gift, refulgent One, is true.

To You, Dispeller of the night, we come with daily prayer offering to You our reverence.

For You are Lord of sacrifice, Enlightener, Shepherd of the world, who wax mighty in Your own abode.

So, like a father to his sons, be to us easy of entreaty. Stay with us, O Lord, for our joy.

Pannikkar, Raimundo. The Vedic Experience: Mantramanjari. New Delhi: Motilal Banaridass. 2001.

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